Thursday, 21 July 2016

"It's not all right to say that,"

they are telling someone called Sonia Kruger. She is apparently some sort of media personality and she spoke out against accepting more Muslim migrants into Downunder.
I don't watch that sort of "chat" television so I didn't see it. (I am not terribly interested in watching anything. I watch the first half hour of an international news service in English and sometimes catch up with the news in other languages on our SBS service - by "reading the visuals - if I think it is necessary.) Perhaps I should watch more.
It seems that Ms Kruger expressed a concern that more Muslim migration was something that could mean more violence, more terrorist attacks, more demands that the rest of us change our way of life to suit Muslims. The media, the Race Discrimination Commissioner, politicians and more did not like this. They did not like it at all. She was daring to express a concern which should not be expressed at all. 
There have been loud calls to criticise her, even condemn her, for violence against her, for her to be sacked from her job and more. In short many influential people have reacted in just such a way to suggest that yes, there is something to be concerned about. It is something we should all be concerned about.
It doesn't matter whether Ms Kruger is right or wrong. She was expressing an opinion - and from all accounts it was not expressed in an angry, violent or unreasonable way. Rather, it was expressed as a genuine concern for the welfare of her own children and the sort of country they will grow up in. It's a point of view. It's a point of view which is considered by some people to be "politically incorrect"  but it is still a point of view. I know too that it is a point of view that is held by a great many other people. It is one reason why Pauline Hanson's "One Nation" party obtained so many votes at the last election. People are concerned. 
People are looking at Europe and asking, "Is this going to happen here too?"
It's a reasonable question. It's a reasonable question but it seems it is wrong to debate it.
That is wrong. It is wrong because if we don't debate such issues openly and honestly then people are going to remain ill informed. There will be more people who believe that "all Muslims are terrorists" and thus avoid all Muslims and allow the myths surrounding them to fester and grow.
I know what it's like. I sometimes get odd looks when I talk to hijab wearing friends. I was once told of my friend J.... "you shouldn't talk to her". The comment came from an otherwise perfectly ordinary, sensible person who happens to go to church. He simply doesn't understand and he doesn't want to understand. It's not something you debate in his book. 
That scares me more than someone saying we should restrict the number of Muslims coming into the country.  Could we talk about the issue please - talk about it without condemning people?  

1 comment:

Adelaide Dupont said...

Abdel-Fattah wrote a good column about how Muslims themselves are not allowed to fear any more and their fears are not widely acknowledged by Anglo-Australian society.

I definitely "read the visuals" as well.